Have you ever watched sandpipers at the beach? I love watching these small birds that hang out along the ocean’s edge. They will go as close to the water as possible, using their long bill to dig in the mud for edible treasures but as soon as a wave comes they run away from the surf as quickly as their strong legs will carry them. On the occasion that the wave can’t be outrun, the smart bird will take flight at the very last possible second. They don’t want to be overcome by a wave. Apparently, wet feet are okay, but they have no interest in getting completely wet. We can be a bit like this, too, sometimes, can’t we? We don’t mind getting our feet a bit wet, but we aren’t ready to give 100%. We run away from the shore for many reasons but one big reason is because of fear.
For instance, sometimes God will give me this awesome opportunity to share the Gospel with someone. And instead of sharing the Truth directly and with love, I tiptoe around the edge of the shore and then, when I get too worried about offending someone and “losing their friendship”, I get scared and run away– just like the sandpiper.
Or how about with our kids? Sometimes we know we shouldn’t let them do something or watch something or listen to something. But they let us know that ALL their friends are doing it, watching it, or listening to it. And we get scared that they will hate us or tell their friends mean things about us so, instead of standing our ground, we turn and run away from the conflict. Because of fear.
Or maybe God is calling us to take on a new ministry or reach out to a neighbor who is hurting or change our career or to use a talent that will stretch us. We think about it. We go online and investigate it. We daydream about it. And then the fear takes over and we run away. We make the decision to stay in our comfort zone. Because we are scared.
Sometimes circumstances are such that it is not prudent to share the Gospel. Sometimes we need to pick our battles with our kids. And sometimes it is not God leading us into a new adventure but our feelings and emotions getting the best of us. It is important to be reading God’s Word, praying, and seeking His will. But if we truly believe that God has granted us an amazing opportunity to share the Gospel with our unsaved friend or acquaintance or if we know we should stand up for what’s right with our kids or He is leading us to venture onto a path into the unknown, well, then we need to face our fears and get our whole body into the ocean!
Psalm 31:24; Galatians 6:9; Joshua 1:9